Well, I've made it to Sydney & it's already been an adventure. I'll start with the fact that YOU NEED A VISA IF YOU'RE PLANNING TO BE IN SYDNEY FOR MORE THAN 12 HOURS. Learned that in L.A. when I was trying to get on the plane... Thankfully a sweet Delta agent helped me apply for an electronic one, and I was set to go about 40 minutes later. The flight was great! It left LA at 10:45pm and I slept almost the whole way save the part where a man from Wellington told me about how destroyed Christchurch is, and how there's little hope for the city to be fully reconstructed. That was probably my favorite part. (sarcasm...) Guess I'll see for my self soon enough. When I got to Sydney, I was going through customs and I declared the chips and salsa I'm bringing to my new kiwi family. The man did not know what salsa was and sent me to have the K9 treatment. So after having all my luggage sniffed, I wandered around until I found the shuttle bus. Talk about being cramped.... there were 14 of us in this TINY "bus" and of course I was the last off 1 hour later. My hostel is nice, the people that run it are very friendly. They thought I was British... I need to work on my Texas accent a bit I guess. I ventured out and found my way to the opera house and sydney harbor bridge. It was GREAT! I walked through the Royal Botanic Garden and popped out right in front of the opera house. I then proceeded to take a couple very awkward I'mtravelingbymyself pictures. They're lovely I'm sure. after several hours of wandering around I made my way back towards to hostel where I remembered seeing a Thai place with a great lunch special. YUM! Thai food was a perfect... About now, I know I should be out and about exploring, but this is like the day that never ended. Apparently "today" I got on a plane in Dallas... I keep thinking surely its time to got to bed now... but it's only 2:30 in the afternoon. Anyways, I ate a big lunch so that I can check out The Victoria Room where my friend Caitlin worked for a while when she lived here in Sydney. Word is I can probably only afford appetizers. Tomorrow it's supposed to rain. I hope not because I'm planning to do something interesting. Another guy in the hostel said he's heading to this blue mountain tour thing and has an extra ticket which could be fun. I may also try to head over to Bondi Beach. We'll see! Alright, I think I've gathered the energy to venture around some more. I'll update again soonish!
PS: the sun is super intense here. there are complimentary sun block pump things everywhere. There are literally times during the day that you are "required" to wear sunblock or cover your skin when you're outside. YIKES! My skin has been in pants/ jackets since August.
pass on the left: I find it very hard to remember to go to the left of people on the sidewalk and when going up stairs... not at all intuitive/ makes for some funny awkward moments.